Outdoor Works

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Outdoor Works - Arbitron Case Study

Preliminary results from the new Arbitron National In-Car study have been released, and the findings hold a particular significance for outdoor advertising. Arbitron interviewed 1,505 Arbitron diary holders for the study. Some of the findings include an increase in the amount of time consumers spend in their cars and on the road. Outdoor advertising was found to impact these consumers when they are ready to make purchases, confirming the importance of recency planning in targeting consumers.

Americans spend 15 hours in a car each week

Compared to just a year ago, 39% of respondents are spending more time in their cars (37% reported they are spending the same amount of time). Overall, the study found that people are averaging 15 hours per week in the car. One surprising outcome was that time spent in cars during the weekday (two hours and twelve minutes) is on par with weekend days (a little over two hours). With all of this extra time in their vehicles, Americans are covering a lot of ground - an average of about 306 miles per week per consumer.

24-hour illumination increases audience impact by 16%

An analysis of in-car audiences indicates advertisers add both reach and exposure if billboards are illuminated all night long. Nationally, 36.2 million Americans are reached in-car from 11p.m. through 6 a.m. across the entire week. The 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. time period adds 16% to in-car audience impressions.

In-car buying decisions

The importance of recency planning is reinforced in the findings. Two out of five in-car consumers make the decision to shop at the last minute, while they are in the car. The rest make their decisions earlier in the day. The table below indicates the types of stores most frequently shopped after work.

Outdoor gets results

As consumers spend more time in their cars, outdoor advertising yields greater results for advertisers. Forty-nine percent of the total US population notice directional billboards. As for immediate results, 29% of consumers say they have visited a store within a week of seeing a billboard advertising a sale or special offer that motivated them to visit a certain store.


Source: Arbitron Inc., an international media and marketing research firm serving radio broadcasters, cable companies, advertisers, advertising agencies and outdoor advertising companies in the United States, Mexico and Europe.